Nevada June Gambling Revenue Sees Decline Over Last Year
Nevada’s gambling revenue for the month of June was down 4.8 percent over the same month last year, reports KOLO 8 News Now.
For the Las Vegas Strip, revenue dipped 10 percent when compared to June of 2012. The overall picture in Nevada, however, pales in comparison to the distressing numbers coming out of the east coast, where in New Jersey gambling revenue has declined every year for the past six years running. The state of Delaware has also reported decreased revenue.
Twofold reason for the decline
There were two factors that contributed to the revenue downswing. According to media reports, June didn’t see as many large-scale events bringing hordes of visitors to the famous gambling city.
The other reason? Just plain luck. Or rather, a lack of luck, as the Las Vegas casinos simply didn’t win as much from bettors as they expected, with most of the trouble seemingly centered around baccarat.
What turned out to be good for gamblers meant a hit to the state’s – and its many casinos’ – bottom line. Baccarat revenue was down a whopping 50 percent in June, and that decrease was the reason for June’s low figures. If the baccarat losses were removed from the equation, the state of Nevada would have seen an increase this year over last year’s June numbers.
“It was kind of a double whammy. The baccarat decline was $50.4 million and the entire Strip was down $49 million,” remarked Mike Lawton, who works as an analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Despite June losses, fiscal year revenue see an uptick
Lawton was quick to point out, however, that the fiscal year spanning June of 2012 through June of 2013 ended on a high note, with the Silver State’s gaming revenue up 1.8 percent. Revenue across the state totaled $10.9 billion for the one year period, with the Las Vegas Strip contributing $6.3 billion in revenue to the overall figure.
“This is the state’s third consecutive fiscal year increase after three consecutive declines. It was definitely a baccarat-driven fiscal year,” Lawton was quoted as saying.
City is recovering from recession’s blow
Just this week, an article in the New York Times noted that all in all, things are looking up for Nevada’s crown jewel, Las Vegas. When the recession gripped the United States in 2009, the housing market in Las Vegas was among the worst in the nation, with the value of most homes crashing to all-time lows, leaving many homeowners under water and a great number of properties left vacant and derelict.
The city’s job base, long centered around the construction industry, was decimated, with one in six jobs being lost, according to the New York Times.
More visitors, but less gambling
The city is now in recovery mode, with the housing market once more thriving and visitors, who had all but abandoned the Las Vegas Strip at the height of the economic gloom, returning in droves to visit the tourist mecca. Some 39 million people came to Las Vegas last year.
There is a downside, however. While the sidewalks are once more teeming with tourists, it turns out they aren’t quite willing to gamble away as much money as they once did.
Said David G. Schwartz, who works at the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, “The Strip is absolutely packed, downtown is packed. People are here. But they aren’t spending as much as they used to.”
Visitors are more interested in retail, dining, and other ancillary entertainments, says Stephen P. A. Brown, also of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He serves as the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the university.
“Gaming went down more than total visitor spending, by a greater percentage. The visitors who have come back are here for clubs and shopping. They’re buying swimsuits to go to the day clubs and evening clothes to go to the nightclubs. That’s the big growth,” Brown said.
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